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skszy May 12th, 2009 10:17 AM

Vacation rental in Niagara Falls?
We are a group of 8 traveling to Niagara Falls late July for 2-3 nights. We were thinking of renting a house instead of getting 4 separate hotel rooms. Has anyone had a positive experience with this? Thanks!

garyt22 May 13th, 2009 02:26 PM

There are some cottage and house rentals in the Niagara on the Lake area... I would start by looking at for several options... there are tons of choices so you need to start narrowing down and sifting... then post back on specifics and we can try to help more... happy hunting!

skszy May 13th, 2009 03:47 PM

Thank you Garyt22. From what I read, this area is about 30 minutes from the Falls? I will ask the group if staying a little away would be agreeable. Thanks for a good starting point!

garyt22 May 14th, 2009 07:23 AM

Its really 20 minutes away and very much a part of the region... many of the properties are along the parkway or QEW so your drive to the falls is only minutes...

skszy May 28th, 2009 06:56 PM

I'm happy to report I have just reserved a lovely 4 bedroom cottage in the heart of old town, in Niagara-on-the-Lake!!

I should probably post this as separate question, but if anyone has any recommendations/must sees on anything in the area... ie- restaurants, wineries, etcc, please let me know. Now that we've secured the date and place, we get to start researching all the fun things to do in the area! We plan to definitely devote one day to the Falls, then we have one more full day + 2 half days.. thanks!

Chrissee May 29th, 2009 08:54 AM

Hello - I live in Niagara Falls, so will do my best! Niagara on the Lake is a beautiful small town, with a nice lakeshore and lots of character. Lots of little shops and restaurants - pretty expensive though. It's a great place to walk around and a nice quiet place to stay.

The falls of course are our highlight. There are many places around the falls to get great views - Table rock house which sits right at the brink is the BEST! There is an observation platform there, as well as some nice restaurants with good views. There are fireworks on Friday and Sunday nights - at 10:00 pm. - Very impressive displays. They are set off somewhere below the park and go off right over the falls. You can also go under the falls and see them from a different perspective. ( I used to work there - giving out rain coats when I was a teenager!)

Depending on what you like to do, here are some suggestions:
Clifton Hill - if you like amusement park type stuff - lots of tacky museums, arcade stuff - not my thing but some people I know said they had lots of fun there.

The park system along the river is beautiful - The Niagara parks commission does a beautiful job with walking trails, flowers etc. Of course there are 2 casinos - one above the falls and one at the bottom of clifton Hill. The Fallsview casino at the top of the falls is the bigger one. (Tip - if you go into the casino, and get a Players Advantage card (which is free) - you can get free parking in their parking garage if you go into the casino and play for about half an how much you spend.) Otherwise there is no free parking anywhere in that area.

Wineries - there are lots now - you should be able to get a map in Niag. on the lake of where all the wineries are. 2 large ones that are close to NOTL - Peller Estates Winery and Hillebrand - both have really nice tasting rooms. Lots of wine tours are available. We are getting quite famous for our ice wine, so make sure you try it if you like sweet dessert wines.

The Maid of the mist is the boat that you can take which takes you right up to the falls. It is absolutely thrilling. That is a must. Other options are: The butterfly conservatory, located at the local horticulture school, the Niagara Glen is a nice place to hike down into the gorge, lots of great golf courses, including one right along the river.

Restaurants: My hubby and I like the Riverbend Inn - on the parkway near NOTL - you can sit on their back patio that overlooks Peller wineries vineyard, the Copacabana is a fun, different experience (Argentine food - lots of meat!), lots of restaurants in and around the casino. NOTL has some great restaurants.
I'll try to think of some and post again. If you have any questions, I can try to help. Hope you enjoy!!

skszy May 31st, 2009 05:23 PM

Wow, thanks so much Chrissee for your detailed information! You obviously love your home!! I just copied and pasted your entire entry and sent it to the rest of the group. We will be sure to go to Table rock house and thanks for letting me know about the fireworks, we will plan around that on sunday night. And thank you for the casino parking tip!

I've been looking around the other posts, and I'm a little unsure how crowded and early we should get to the Maid of the Mist tour. We're mostly in our 30s, but have one 2 year old, and one 70 year old. Is it better to get there first thing in the morning, or ..?

thanks so much!!

garyt22 Jun 1st, 2009 07:53 AM

The Maid runs all day and has several boats... take your time... the most you might wait is 15 to 20 minutes... You might also look into the Whirlpool Jetboats for the 30's crowd... its the best thing at the Falls but it might be too much for your 70 and the 2yo is too young... keep on plannin'

Chrissee Jun 15th, 2009 07:20 AM

Hi skszy, I have not been on Fodors for a couple of weeks. Sorry for the delay! I'm glad to help. The Maid does indeed run all day and garyt22 is correct - there are several boats - you take an elevator down to the loading dock and wait. EArlier in the day would probably be better though. If the 70 year old is in good shape, he/she should be able to handle the Maid. The 2 year old should be ok too. (We just had Brad Pitt here with 2 of his little ones and there was a picture of them on our local newspaper boarding the Maid of the mist.)

There has been a little controversy with the Jetboat trips lately - some problem with their docking privileges. They have moved the location where they run from, I'm not sure where they ended up, but your hotel staff should know. I have not done this trip as I'm not a white water fan, but I know people who have gone and LOVED it! VERY exciting!

Have fun!

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